Russia’s blockade of Ukrainian ports is “provoking a large-scale food crisis,” President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Friday in his late-night video address, as he questioned countries that delayed placing sanctions on Moscow and postponed aid to his country.
“Russian officials are also openly threatening the world that there will be famine in dozens of countries,” he said. “And what could be the consequences of such a famine? What political instability and migration flows will this lead to? How much will you have to spend then to overcome the consequences?”
His comments came after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his country is “not of a favorable opinion” of a move by Finland and, potentially, Sweden to join NATO. Ministers from both countries are expected to attend an informal meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Berlin later today.
Bodies of Russian soldiers stored in refrigerator railway wagons
Officials store bodies of Russian soldiers in refrigerator railway wagons in Kyiv, on Friday.
Turkey’s leader opposes Finland, Sweden joining NATO
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Friday that his country is “not favorable” toward Finland and Sweden joining NATO, indicating Turkey could use its membership in the Western military alliance to veto moves to admit the two countries.
“We are following developments concerning Sweden and Finland, but we are not of a favorable opinion,” Erdogan told reporters.
The Turkish leader explained his opposition by citing Sweden and other Scandinavian countries’ alleged support for Kurdish militants and others whom Turkey considers to be terrorists.
Zelenskyy warns end war could be a ways off
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said although Ukrainians are doing everything they can to drive out the Russians, “no one today can predict how long this war will last.”
“This will depend, unfortunately, not only on our people, who are already giving their maximum,” he said in his nightly video address to the nation. “This will depend on our partners, on European countries, on the entire free world.”
He said he was thankful to all those who are working to strengthen the sanctions on Russia and increase military and financial support to Ukraine. “This is the only recipe for protecting freedom in the face of the Russian invasion. And for Western countries, this is not simply an expense. This is not about accounting, it’s about the future.”
Zelenskyy said Ukraine on Friday shot down the 200th Russian aircraft of the war and he noted Russia’s heavy losses in tanks, armored vehicles, helicopters and drones.